Election Day weather is a mess out west, but generally fine elsewhere | Bot To News


While much of the country spends this Election Day mostly dry and peaceful on the weather front, a storm system is dumping heavy rain and snow on the California mountains.

Outside of California, only small pockets of the lower 48 will see weather problems:

  • Some rain and snowfall are possible in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West.
  • Some thunderstorms can disperse over parts of Oklahoma.
  • Some downpours may start reaching the Florida coast from subtropical storm Nicole, but the most serious effects will linger until Wednesday.

Subtropical Storm Nicole is expected to hit Florida at near hurricane strength

Temperatures are mostly friendly for November, except in parts of Montana and the Northern Plains, where it’s cold and where it rains and snows in California.

Historically, it is believed that bad weather on Election Day tends to favor the party with the most reliable voters. In the past, that metric has largely benefited Republicans. There is great question about how much the weather really affects voting, particularly now that early and mail-in voting is so widespread.

Here’s a look at region-by-region conditions:

Perhaps the main area of ​​climate concern for voters is along the West Coast, and particularly in California. In addition to the storms, record cold afternoon temperatures are expected across much of California and parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Half an inch to an inch of rain per hour is possible in central and southern California, with the heaviest activity expected in the late afternoon and evening. This has prompted the National Weather Service to list the region as moderate risk (Level 3 of 4) for excessive rainfall.

Election week storm in California will effectively end fire season

Rain 1 to 3 inch totals are a good bet for much of the coastal/valley area, up to 2 to 5 inches at higher elevations. Very heavy snowfall is forecast in the higher mountains. Parts of the Sierras could see several feet Tuesday and six feet or more from the storm overall.

Temperatures range from the 50s to 60s in the lower elevations to near or below freezing in the mountains. Record highs are possible across California’s Central Valley and Bay Area with temperatures in the 50s, and around Seattle where highs are expected to hit the 40s.

Also, strong to damaging winds are a risk In and around the Los Angeles area, focused on higher elevations where gusts to 60-75 mph are likely, according to the Weather Service.

Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Plains

Montana gets a mention because it’s going to be unusually cold. Some snow is also forecast for parts of the state and adjacent states.

Great Falls, near where the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains meet, plunged to 1 degree this morning amid a light snowfall.

Election Day Live Updates

Given the very cold conditions and snowfall, some dangerous travel is taking place in western Montana and the Southwest into parts of the northern Rocky Mountains. This may persist in some form during the day.

Forecast high temperatures ranging from the single digits to the 20s across most of Montana are 20 to 40 degrees below average. Highs in the 20s and 30s continue east across much of North Dakota, parts of South Dakota, and northern Minnesota.

A gust of warm air is moving across the southern and central Plains ahead of the western US storm.

Other than areas of concentrated rainfall in Oklahoma and Minnesota, much of the area from the Plains to the Midwest is dry. Places that see rain could accumulate up to an inch in the southern Plains and a quarter-inch in the upper Midwest.

High temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees above normal cover a wide swath from near Denver to Des Moines and Chicago in the north and as far south as Texas and Arkansas. This translates to 70 and 80 in the south, 60 and 70 in the center, and 50 and 60 in the north.

Florida is the only area of ​​concern in this region.

Strengthening subtropical storm Nicole throws occasional rain bands across the Sunshine State on Tuesday, with increasing odds as the day progresses. Some localized heavy showers are possible, but more persistent rain and wind should wait until Wednesday.

The storm will also help strengthen overland flow in much of the Southeast, which is felt most strongly near the coast. Wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph should be quite common from the Carolinas to the east coast of Florida at night. Some points could blow higher.

Otherwise, it’s mostly clear sailing, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures largely in the 80s in the southern part of the region, with 70s and 60s on the northern fringes towards Tennessee and North Carolina. After days of record heat, several additional hot weather records may be set across the Deep South.

November feels like September when warm weather breaks records in the East

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

After a seasonally cool start to Election Day, most of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast end up bathed in sunshine.

High temperatures are in the 40s and 50s in New York and New England, warming to the 50s and 60s in the Mid-Atlantic. Chills feel 5-10 degrees cooler, which might be a bit of a shock given the recent heat.

The readings here drop about 10 degrees by the time the polls close tonight.

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